After enjoying Pikey’s wonderful match report two weeks ago, this writer was of the opinion that not enough credit went to the author who clearly has been making an extra effort recently to make himself appear more sophisticated and cultured (1).
In the words of the King of OBs match reports Oliver Pool, “No-one ever remembers the rugby and no-one cares… if I managed to avoid mentioning the game in a match report I considered it a success.” Unfortunately this report has a little game insight, but hopefully enough pre and post-game chat to keep you reading until the end.
The beauty of OBs is when the players realise the captain has accidentally set the meet time later than usual on Pitchero, no-one says a word. Players trickled in at 1.45pm (for the 1.30pm meet) with coach Shane disgusted at captain Willacy for the admin balls-up.
Rory arrived, and when Shane asked Rory to confirm the usual meet time for a Saturday, Rory confirmed that he had no idea, but he guessed it would typically be 1.15pm for those less/fewer talented than himself.
An ever-enthusiastic Paff turned up with a fresh, tight ‘fade’ haircut (short on the sides, long on the top). The usual retorts followed from the older members of the squad, “Did you run out of money to do the top?” before Cam arrived with a similar trim, and Marshy and Whiteman started wondering whether they could pull off similar youthful ‘lids’.
Cam had been recalled to the 1s for the first time in a number of months. Shane gave an insight into the selection committee decision making process, and confirmed Cam had been called up for when we inevitably go 30 points behind and need to unleash the comeback spirit of Scotland Rugby. And presumably for any shoooooooes.
With only 35 minutes left before kick-off, we had to rattle through Pikey’s usual warm-up (2). Typically only 50% of the team bother with the commando rolls at the best of times, but with time at an essence this figure was down to 5.55% (i.e. just Pikey).
Teams coming to Fortress Failand often have pre-conceived ideas about how posh Old Bristolians are. For the most part this is entirely justified, but Avonmouth were surprised when Marshy informed them before kick-off that our starting second row wasn’t actually christened Edgar and this was in fact his surname.
In typical OBs fashion, we were back under our own post 5 minutes into the game after a lethargic start and a catalogue of missed tackles. After successfully lulling Avonmouth into a false sense of security, OBs responded with 4 tries in the first half – two from Limmer and two from Hunty.
Kyle picked up a yellow card for a (questionably) late tackle on the opposition 10. Although in itself a harsh decision, it was probably justified after the earlier penalties he gave away, and his lineout insomnia a few games prior (3).
The highlight of the first half was after Avonmouth turned the ball over in midfield. Seeing a mountain of space behind the OBs defence, the fly half kicked the ball through. Ex England 7s International (and OBs fullback) Simon Hunt was nowhere to be seen, but luckily Matt Edgar was corner flagging like every good second row does. Edgar (aka the Big Show, aka the Pub Golf 2018 champ) sprinted back and used his trusty size 16 (?) left boot to volley the ball into touch and prevent the try.
Half Time - 26-0
Pikey mentioned in his match report last week how much we take Morgs for granted for buying the Haribo and Lucozade every week. Rich Berry offered to be chief sugar supplier this week, before inexplicably providing the boys with fizzy Lucozade energy drinks rather than the trusty still orange variety supplied by Morgs. The second half commenced with a lot of burping and mini-sicks.
Avonmouth came out well after the interval (presumably having been supplied with the right Lucozade’s) and relentlessly attacked the OBs line. OBs communicated well and numbered off in defence, exemplified by Paff’s “I’ve got fat boy.” It was questioned at the next scrum whether Paff was being overly brave with his taunts as a result of being in the back row rather than the front, and Marshy wasn’t best pleased with Paff when he had to bind up with the publicly ridiculed ‘fat boy’.
Hunty displayed one of the most blatant attempts at jug avoidance seen in recent years by dropping a pinpoint miss pass from Rory under no pressure with the line at his mercy. In typical Hunty fashion he blamed everyone but himself for the error – Rory, Shane, the referee, the wind and Lee Valls (the psychologist from the Seven Year Switch).
There was a 14th try of the season for Whiteman off yet another ‘Gregan’ inside ball from Greener. “That was so f*cking obvious” came the chat from the enraged Avonmouth defender, followed by “To be fair, that was a bloody good line” from his more appreciative teammate.
OBs in typically generous fashion gifted Avonmouth two tries and two bonus points in the last five minutes of the game. It at least gave Shane something to moan about in his weekly post-match analysis and podcast (4), but in reality it was a comfortable 33-27 win for OBs over high flying Avonmouth.
Final Score - 33-27
BoG went to converted second row Shnollie (5) for the 7th time this season. It just goes to show what you can do if you give up gluten (unless you’re Jamie).
Post-match antics at the club were cut short by Nick and Lisa who were setting up the tables for the Colts end of season awards night. When questioned whether the Colts team would be allowed an alcoholic beverage to celebrate their (presumably) successful season, their coach confirmed they would be allowed to booze as it was being accompanied by a meal. I can only imagine the shenanigans they got up to, and how much Whittle would have liked to be present.
(1) Four (?) time OBs ‘Man of Steel’ Matthew Douglas has been enjoying the finer things in life recently; including the ballet, theatre and composing Valentine’s day poems for his most recent love interest.
(2) For those wondering, Pikey’s usual warm-up consists of ‘f*ck the turf’, ‘sad cat/happy cat’ and ‘pray to Allah,’ which we presume is similar to his typical repertoire of sexual positions.
(3) Despite OBs having the same lineout calls for the last 35 seasons (UK22), Kyle somehow forgot all of these mid-game despite having no apparent concussion symptoms.
(4) Shane’s one liners have become the stuff of legend over the last few seasons. Highlights include, “watching you train is like watching old people F*CK, it’s slow, ugly and it hurts my eyes.” Shane didn’t disappoint with his prediction for the upcoming Barton Hill fixture, “If they get their cocks hard they will rub your noses in it.” Lovely.
(5) Oliver Hazell aka “Shit new Ollie” aka “Shnollie” as christened by Morgs in 2016 during his first social. It turns out he has provided more value over the years than “Good new Ollie” but like Super Gonorrhoea these things are hard to shake off.
Following our humbling at the hands of Barton Hill on our last run out, the boys showed a vastly improved effort this time round.
Despite only having a bare 15, it was a strong 15, and we were a team wanting to right some wrongs from 2 weeks ago.
The game began with Saracens on the front, with sizeable runners and a well organised rolling maul, using it to good effect to take the opening points of the game (it was actually a penalty kick from their 10, but that doesn’t fit so well with my narrative), giving them a 10-0 lead.
A loose pass from the Saracens backline was taken advantage of by Oli Higgs who kicked the spilled ball through for Johnny Parkes to get his first of the afternoon.
The next score came from a bit of Jamie Duncan magic, who has clearly been watching England the last couple of weeks, to put a deft grubber kick through, Johnny being on hand once again to dot down.
Despite plenty of endeavour from both teams this is how it stayed until half time. OBs leading 14-10.
Half Time - 14-10
Due to us only having a bare 15 I had one request before the game, and that was for nobody to get injured. Not an unreasonable request I think you will agree. Well apparently Rory and Adam did, taking it upon themselves to smash faces about 5mins into the second half. This left Adam with a beauty of a bump and when Rory asked how his nose was looking, someone to replied “it’s gone a bit Tindall”. Both left the field of play leaving us with 13. Luckily the Saracens boys, who to a man were gents all game, gave us a player so we had 14 against 15.
The Saracens boys settled back into proceedings far quicker than us, scoring 2 tries in quick succession to take back the advantage.
Once we collected ourselves we started to exert some pressure on the Saracens try line and after multiple phases, that man again, Johnny Parkes, popped up for his third of the afternoon (sorry I can’t offer more detail, I didn’t see it as I was busy to forwards stuff).
This left OBs trailing by just 3 points now.
It was end to end stuff with both teams coming close to scoring tries.
However, it was Saracens that took the spoils and scored 2 tries in the last 5mins using their 8-man driving mail against our 6man defence on both occasions. This gave a final score that didn’t really reflect the closeness of the game.
Final Score - 21-38
BOP - Joint one this week going to hat-trick hero Johnny Parkes, and to Potter who tackled absolutely everything in sight.
Highlight of the day - Saracens captain coming to play for us, then instantly proceeded to sledge all of his club mates, and tell us all of their calls. They obviously didn’t enjoy this and their fullback coming in from absolutely nowhere to nearly snap him in two about 5mins later.
Dick of the day - Rory for;
- A. Getting injured
- B. Getting a lift to the hospital with an owwie nose
- C. Gloating about getting the telephone number of kind girl who gave him a lift to the hospital
- D. Finding out said kind girl was in fact Oli Higgs’ other half and she only wanted to make sure that he was okay.
After an unusual scramble for players in the days leading up the OBs ‘most winningest’ team arrived on Saturday with a cohort 16 strong. Last years captain fantastic BJ had been dragged away from his homeland and asked (very politely might I add!) whether he could boot up and join myself in the row against what we were sure would be a strong Sarries pack. CJ on his was back from injury also called me in the late hours of Saturday morning to ask how we were for numbers and whether we’d like him just to run the water and be emergency cover in case of an injury.
Forward 30 minutes into the match and our saviour BJ was forced off with a lovely mouse under his eye and our new saviour CJ entered the field. We’re not a fickle bunch I promise... ANYWAY.
Rewind again. Myself, Angus, Dougie, SH Chris and Ceej rocked up to Sarries and we’re greeted by the ever keen New Chris (Beagly). I like this guy. Only played a few matches with him, he’s usually miles away from me in open space so I couldn’t tell you for the life of me whether he was a good player or not, but he always arrives lovely and early! He’s either a man after my own heart and hates tardiness or doesn’t have a working washing machine so needs to avoid the kit wash at all cost. Either way. I’m happy.
Sarries have a disgusting set up for their changing rooms. Two dank and dingy changing rooms filled with first team players. You could tell this by the shirts that were 2 sizes too small, the overwhelming smell of Lynx body spray and the drippings of hair gel on the floor. The ‘other’ teams are left to change in between these two rooms in what is somewhat reminiscent of a public school changing room. The teams change opposite each other with Sarries coaches, groundsman (and at one point I think someone’s mother) watching and listening to any team discussion or calls. Luckily for us it was mostly me offering out Vegan sweets (Jelly tots for those with an inquisitive nature) and bullying Gio for not mentioning he was a commonwealth swimmer enough.
Warm up was okay. Pretty solid but with BJ arriving late we didn’t actually practise catching the ball much in the pack. Who needs too am I right?! We won the toss and found out that they had no FR. Good times followed by sad times. Played with the wind in our sails and down hill and made it pay. Strong running and some lovely play in the backs lead to Dougie going over for the first try within a matter of minutes. The usual scramble of ‘who can actually place kick?’ took place and SH Chris stood up to convert the first. The ruthless man that is Mikey Dean got yellow card for a ‘second high tackle’ that the apparent mute ref had warned him about earlier?! More dominant play with only 14 men led to more scoring and saw Yarks and SH Chris go over for their own try time!
Half time - 0-17
The half time chat consisted of the usual spiel from myself and the wiser heads of, in no particular order; Don’t let us drop off this pace. The 2nd half will be much harder playing against the elements. They’ll out strong not wanting to get spanked on their own pitch.
And it was. OBs were pinned back into their own 22 for most of the half with some absolutely dogged defence keeping out an otherwise hard running Sarries team. A yellow car followed for what I, and most of the squad believe, was a textbook dump tackle. Much to Dougies pleading with the ref whilst being tussled with the man with the whistle did not believe that ‘he never once went above the horizontal and I put him down on his back’. 10 more minutes with 14 men. More strong defence led to a tiring Sarries pack which were made to pay with a driving line out caught expertly by yours truly and finished off by commonwealth swimmer Gio Guarino. Dougie also came back to the field with a metaphorical bee in his bonnet and went through a few players to go over for his second.
Final score - 0-29
BOP - Dougie. Even with the yellow card. A 10/12 pairing of him and Yarks always had me confident that our defence would not be breached. There aren’t many other players that you’d want over Mr Harding for a defence heavy game and he showed his worth massively. Honourable mentions to Brid and Shep who made a makeshift second row due to the injuries and me wanting, selfishly, to put in as many hits as possible.
A huge effort from everyone and was easily the best performance I’ve been involved with in an OBs shirt. Very much looking forward to our final two games!
Special note. The ref (who was awful, I mean I don’t like to bash officials but this guy was terrible) post match commended a few of our players and said some could definitely play at a 1st XV level! Angus was mentioned. Okay, fair enough. SH Chris who has been a revelation and will not succumb to the temptation of 2s rugby! And me... m... me? Yes. You’re reading that correctly. The ref (who had a great game by the way and knew exactly what he was talking about) said that I should be playing first team rugby. Match review finished. No need for anything else.
Currently waiting for write up.